quick St. Louis thin crust

Weeknight Neapolitan-Style Pizza

A quick and easy pizza that sort of reminded me of Neapolitan pizza.

Ratings, percentages, and more

rating: 6/8 slices

6 out of 8 pizza slices rating

hydration: 63%

Flour to water icon

difficulty: easy

1 out of 5 — the lowest difficulty rating

Ingredient percents

IngredientStandard %Baker’s %
Flour (360g)57.42%100%
Salt (8g)1.28%2.22%
Yeast (7g)1.12%1.94%
Water (227g)36.20%63.05%
Olive Oil (25g)3.99%6.94%

This chart shows the standard ingredient percentages — how you’d normally calculate percentages — in the second column. For the standard percent, I added up all the ingredients and then divided that number by each individual ingredient and rounded to the second decimal (i.e. 360g flour / 627g total = 57.42%) The third column shows the “baker’s percentage,” which this post explains well.


  • Ready to bake in under 3 hours
  • 00 flour makes a crisp and tender crust
  • Not the same complexity and chew as longer rise Neapolitan doughs

See King Arthur’s Recipe

Quick? Yes. Neapolitan? Not Really.

Overhead view of Neapolitan pizza with basil and fresh mozzarella.
The simple, yet delicious Pizza Margherita.

I often make pizza dough the day before, but I had a busy day and remembered seeing this recipe when I made King Arthur’s Neapolitan recipe the week before. So, I decided I’d give this quick version a try. I had low expectations — how can you get a similar result in less than a quarter of the time? It turns out you can’t. At least not with this recipe. However, while I wouldn’t say this is Neapolitan pizza, I did like it. (As I mention elsewhere, you really can’t make pizza that meats the AVPN’s regulations in a home oven — this and other recipes are right to say “Neapolitan-style pizza.”) There’s something to using 00 flour for a quick dough. The crust came out crisp and tender. Where the quick rise showed was in the lack of chew and deep flavor. Although, the lack flavor wasn’t necessarily bad because it lets the simple toppings shine.

Issues with Oil

This recipe suggests lightly oiling a dish before placing the dough in it to rise. It might be better to skip this step or use a light dusting of flour instead. When you divide the dough after the first rise, the oil prevents the dough from sticking to itself, which makes it very hard to make nice balls of dough as the recipe suggests. This also leads to thin and thick spots when stretching the dough. You could also solve the issue by dividing the dough after kneading and then knocking down each dough ball for the second rise. If you do use oil, use it very sparingly.

Overstretching & Not Learning

I made three pizzas instead of two the recipe suggests. I stretched the first and third very thin — so thin that the slices drooped under the weight of the toppings, allowing the toppings to slide off. I left the second crust little thicker and it stood up better. Not sure why I made the first and third thin, you’d think I would have learned!

Neapolitan pizzas on a cutting board
The one in front is not overstretched. It supported the toppings without any issues. The one in back had fewer toppings but, because I stretched it too thin, struggled to hold up to the toppings.

This makes me think of something I heard from someone who knows much more than I do about pizza — the importance of finding the optimal grams of flour to square inches of pizza ratio. After doing some research I’ve also found this expressed as dough per square inch of pizza. This is a number that will vary based on your preferences and the type of pizza you’re making — you’ll need more dough per square inch for Detroit style than for Neapolitan. It’s something I’m still figuring out.

Simplicity in Pizza

I’ve been on a square pizza trip for several months now. Most of those pizzas have heavy, strongly flavored delicious toppings, so I had not made a simple tomato, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil pizza in a while. Baking it reminded me why this is a classic — so simple but so good!

Of course, I had to also do a pepperoni pizza because someone in my household requires pepperoni. To maximize pepperoni flavor, without burring the pizza in a layer of solid pepperoni (my usual approach with presliced pepp), I sliced my own pepperoni extra thick from a Boar’s Head log. The plan worked.

Close up of a pepperoni on a pizza slice
Thick cut pepperoni worked well with this crust.

For me, the real revelation of this pizza bake is how good canned tomatoes can be. Normally, I get good canned tomatoes and add some salt, dried herbs, olive oil, etc. Which means I take some credit for the sauce tasting good. But, this time, I was in a hurry and just used Bianco Dinapoli Organic Crushed Tomatoes straight from the can. No salt or anything added. Delicious! The best in recent memory.

The Lesson

When dividing a dough, avoid oil. It will only cause you more toil.

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